What do Bowen Therapy and cornflour have in common?

Answer: Gentle moves, but profound results.

Go too hard or fast and you meet with resistance!
Go lightly and you are allowed in.

Stay with me a minute and let me explain further:

No doubt you have at some time used cornflour to thicken a casserole or dessert (or at the very least know what is is), but I am sure you haven’t made a mix of cornflour and water, stuck your fingers in it, and played with it!

I was introduced to this idea by John Wilks at a conference. He had a bowl of cornflour and water, and sure enough, we all played in it. We learnt quickly that if you stick your fingers in the mix too fast, you meet with resistance. Yes, that soft bowl of liquid puts up resistance almost as if it has suction caps that grab your fingers when you push your way in, or take your hands out too fast.

And so it is with our clients’ bodies. If you stick your fingers and thumbs in too deeply or too quickly, your fingers will be met with the body’s resistance. The moves can be done, but far less effectively or comfortably.

Back to the cornflour mix:

Drag your fingers through the mix too quickly, and again you will get resistance. Compare this to a slow, gentle move through the mix and your fingers move effortlessly.

Transfer this to making a Bowen move on a client: if you make the move too fast, you will meet resistance from the body. Make the move slowly and respectfully, and you’re allowed ‘in.’ The move is made gently and effectively.

What a great teaching aid this bowl of cornflour and water turned out to be! I really didn’t ‘get it’ for myself, until I let my hands play. Please do try this yourself. Add 5 heaped tablespoons of cornflour to 1/2 cup of water in a cereal bowl and allow it to stand for 10 minutes or so, or until the cornflour has settled on the bottom. Dip your fingers in fast and see the resistance you get from the mix, then drag your fingers through quickly. Now try it slowly and gently. Notice how easily you can move through the mix when you move slowly.

When this concept is applied to a Bowen move, the body ‘lets you in’ instead of resisting.

When the 'cornflour concept' is applied to a Bowen move, the body 'lets you in' instead of resisting – via BTA Click To Tweet

If you’ve never had a Bowen Therapy treatment before, this is an indication of how gentle a Bowen session should be – your body allowing and accepting the procedures. Don’t be fooled though, gentle moves can elicit profound results.

If you’re an instructor, you might like to consider using this teaching aid in your next Module 1 class. It can help your students grasp this concept easily and can improve their technique quickly.

Please note that each Bowen move requires its own unique pressure, challenge and speed, dependent on the location on the body and the client’s sensitivity. This post is intended to shares a simple, introductory teaching aid to assist students in understanding how a body can resist or accept Bowen moves, and how by working with the body, and slowing down moves, they can be more effective.

Belinda Cunningham

This post was originally printed in Bowen Hands, March 2011

Photo Credit: flickrrhoea via Compfight cc

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Categories Practitioners, Training | Tags: | Posted on February 5, 2014

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